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5-star OLB Mekhail Sherman is down to his final two schools. The Bulldogs from Georgia did make the cut.

5-star OLB Mekhail Sherman shares rare insight on recent UGA visit

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This edition recaps a conversation with 5-star OLB Mekhail Sherman a few days after his official visit to UGA for G-Day. 

Mekhail Sherman has closed up shop on the fact-finding and discovery road trips needed for his recruiting journey. The nation’s no. 2 OLB prospect (per the 247Sports Composite ratings) took his second official visit last weekend to Ohio State.

“Big Sherm” will not need a third.

It wasn’t long after that Ohio State visit that Sherman tweeted he was done with interviews and his decision would come down to the Bulldogs or the Buckeyes.

Before he made that move, he was kind enough to grant DawgNation a wide-ranging interview. He did make mention of the hospitality he felt on that Georgia official.

If any of his classmates at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. want any Intel from that trip, he had a clear answer.

“That it was love,” Sherman said. “It was great. It was great down there. It was love down there.”

He even shared a G-Day moment on campus.

“I really don’t like to even consider this,” Sherman said. “Because my character loves to stay low key even though I want my name to be out there. I’m not the guy who likes to be bum-rushed at public places. I don’t really find that attractive to my style.”

“However, I was stopped in the bookstore as I was shopping for a hoodie,” he said. “I was stopped in the bookstore by one of the Georgia fans. He asked how I liked the visit and I responded the same way I responded to a tweet on Twitter.”

His thoughts here will go far beyond the fact the popular 247Sports “Crystal Ball” feature reflects that he is most likely to choose Georgia out of that final 2.

It matters little which shade of red he will eventually wear on Saturdays. Sherman will be a talented player with a gas tank that won’t run low on passion.

The best evidence of that is his personal definition of the word “humility.”

For him, it is not about showing class and sportsmanship and keeping one’s cool on the field. It goes deeper as a measure of his personal faith.

To him, the term is about accepting the path that has been placed before all of us.

“It is not the formal definition of ‘humility’ but the Christian way of humility,” Sherman said. “It is accepting God’s gift to you and using it. God’s gift to me was blessing me with the talents of football. Now I’m using it, to help my family and everybody that I can help around me.”

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Mekhail Sherman has a different definition of the word “humility” than the formal version. It speaks to acceptance and is a reflection of his Christian faith. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The potential Mekhail Sherman decision timeline 

“Humility” does mean the acceptance of all outcomes to him. Even the tough times.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder is coming off a season-ending knee injury that cost him his junior season. He is ahead of the curve on his rehab but will take measured steps heading into his senior season.

That one will be precious to him.

“Dealing with my ACL injury I just want to put all of my focus on my senior season,” he said. “Because I don’t have a junior season upon me. So I just want to make up for my junior season with my senior season.”

If an activity does not directly enhance getting better to make the most of his last high school ride, he probably won’t do it. That’s why he will not compete at the Opening regionals or finals this year.

RELATED: Mekhail Sherman opens up about his rehab and recovery from his knee injury

He will be missed at those elite events. Watching Sherman sprint with the tailbacks and cornerbacks and receivers last July was a rare sight. He was fast enough to clock low 4.5s on the laser in the 40 and belong in those “Fastest Man” heats as a rising junior.

It seems like Georgia has had great timing with this recruitment. It started when assistant Dan Lanning offered him on his birthday back on February 26, 2018. He was 16.

Did that UGA official visit for G-Day maintain an interest? Hold serve? Did it elevate it?

“The official visit was no different than my unofficials,” Sherman said. “Which says a lot. When I say that, I mean relationship-wise. The itinerary we did was different. However, relationship-wise between myself and the coaches, then it did not change. They did not love me more or love me less than they did on the unofficials or show me more love or less love on the officials.”

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Mekhail Sherman has visited UGA twice this year. The first time was on March 1. It was around his birthday weekend the week of February 26. (Mekhail Sherman/Twitter)

“It was the same thing. I got the same treatment I had when I went there [earlier] and when we really did establish some things. The only thing it really did was strengthen bonds between me and the university as all of my other officials are going to be. Just strengthening bonds and strengthening relationships to see how they will all weight out within my recruitment.”

He had a plan coming out of that G-Day visit. Or at least a shell of a potential one.

“The plan I have in my head is to focus on recruiting right now as I have time to focus on my senior season,” Sherman said. “Or I might do what I always do and just block our recruiting when it comes time for that time. It is not that hard to do so.”

It sounded like he wanted to give LSU some consideration prior to that Ohio State trip, but that is no longer the case. Sherman even hinted it might be hard for him to take all five of his officials late last month.

“I might take four,” he said. “I might take three. I might just take two. Who knows? It depends on where my heart is. If I feel like I don’t really need them. When it comes down to it, my view upon visits is I feel like everything is the same. Coaches will show you the same facilities. Coaches will say the same things just with different words. Things like that. Me, I just try to see through the lines and see what they are just trying to do.”

He knows what every team wants to do with those But that’s not what he needs to learn.

“[Those visits] show me the same weight room I have seen at other universities,” he said. “Show me the same football field. Show me the same stadiums. All of those things don’t really attract me. It is cool. It is eye candy. Yes,  but I am really looking here more for relationship bonds that actual facilities.”

There were two likely decision scenarios:

  • Make his college commitment prior to his senior year over the summer
  • Wait until after his senior season to make his college choice known

Mekhail Sherman-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruitingMekhail Sherman is coming off a season-ending ACL injury that cost him almost all of his junior season. He is motivated to make the most of his senior year. To say the least. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The important things to know about Mekhail Sherman

What has Georgia really done well with this recruitment? Well, the words to start with are “engage” and “genuine” with those matters. Those are Sherman’s words.

Remember: He did say he likes to sift through all the angles and those polished pitches.

“What I really like about Georgia is that they engage a lot more of my family more than me,” Sherman said. “Because they know what they have got to do in my family system. They have to gain the trust of my family in order to gain that trust from me.”

He believes in that African proverb about a village raising a child. His village is Team Sherman. For starters, that’s his mother and sister and brother-in-law for starters. Those inner circle family members have been with him on all of his visits to UGA this year.

“They stand behind any decision I make,” Sherman said. “They might voice their opinion about certain things on what schools they like. Just like fans. But at the end of the day, they just tell me to do what I have got to do and do what I think is best.”

“That’s how they treat me and I have the utmost respect for them and the way they treat me like that. … It is all off of what I believe in. If I feel a school fits me, then a school fits me.”

He appreciates every day. Good or bad. He feels it is all for a purpose. Sherman always has a moment of purposeful prayer before every game.

Sherman intends to continue that this fall.

“I pray,” he said. “I will pray for health, the health of my knee now and I will pray for the health of my teammates. Our coaches. All coaches. I also pray for the opposition.”

He laughed as he finished that last thought. It was an evil genius-slash-mad scientist sort of laugh. Or maybe it was a cackle. That’s just how he is.

“Got to pray for the opposition, too. You have got to pray for them, too. Because I don’t know what I about to do to them out there. You don’t know what is going to happen out there. So you pray for the opposition and the health of everybody out there.  It is a fun game. You just pray for the success of everyone out there. The players on your team. The players on there that depend on you and your success so we can all go out there and prosper as a team.”

He may sound very worldly and mindful for his 17 years, but he’s still just a kid. Sherman actually isn’t that well-read.

“Now I feel bad about that because I am the exact opposite,” Sherman said. “I just basically sleep. I like to sleep because I don’t get a lot of time to rest my body. I’m always on the grind and always on the go. So for my free time, I basically just like to sleep. … I’m the type of guy who loves individual time more than going out and partying and all that other stuff.”

It was in those moments where Sherman continued to reveal the goal of our DawgNation conversation. He was always laughing. He said the words or phrases “Shoot” and “you know what I mean” and “that’s funny” and “you feel me” a lot.

“This has not just been me putting on a formal false front,” Sherman said. “This is how I am. This is just a regular conversation for me. I’m just being real. This is how I live. This is how I am. So I guess in this article if you want to be genuine just know this is not a front. This is not a poker face. This is not ‘this is an article so you have got to straighten up type thing.’ This is me, Mekhail Sherman. Having a conversation.”

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Mekhail Sherman said his fall of 2018 knee injury and subsequent recovery and rehab has added several gallons of capacity to his gas tank. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Bet you haven’t read this about an OLB recruit lately

Some players will bring up the fact they have a defensive mindset. Sherman believes that and lives it.

It starts with how he watches a football game.

“I really don’t pay attention to the offense,” Sherman said. “I pay a lot of attention to the defense, the defensive games and the teams on defense period. Whatever team is on defense, I will root for them.”

Then he let loose another of those “mad scientist” laughs. A couple of them.

When Georgia played Alabama for the national championship in January of 2018, that’s how he watched that game. He was rooting for punts or some of those “havoc” plays everyone reads about on DawgNation now.

When he returns, he will ready. He feels he has overpowered his rehab with sheer will and determination. That will allow him to return to the field this fall after a completely torn ACL and a partial lateral meniscus tear.

When it happened, it was just pure bad luck on a football play. His knee joint was leg-whipped by his own teammate.

It was not the most adversity he has been through in his now 17 years of life, but he said it was “up there” so far.

“The knee and what it will do to you really all that has done is given me more fuel to my fire,” he said. “You can love the game so much but the game will cheat you. It cheated me. I got leg-whipped by my own teammate. My ACL was torn. But all that it did was I had to sit back.”

“Then I had to talk to God. I had to talk to family and realize why I do this. I had to revert back to why I do this. Now, this injury will not only touch you physically but also touch you mentally. All I have been doing is going through these trials and tribulations between physical, mental and spiritual ways to get stronger. So when I get back on that field there is no turning back.”

There will be no going back. There will be no status checks for his knee. He will just move forward. Fast and hard.

“All it has been teaching me is to appreciate the game even more. To appreciate that God has laid all of this out in front of me with a purpose to it.”

Check out Sherman’s sophomore film below. It looks pretty good for a highly-rated junior or senior prospect. This was him at 15 years of age during his sophomore season at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C.

Sherman piled up 51 tackles, 18 stops for losses and 7 sacks in his last full season in the fall of 2017.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.

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